PETA Rallies Supporters to Demand That Flea Market Nix Elephant Rides

Protest Planned if Abusive and Repeatedly Penalized Exhibitor Is Permitted to Use Ailing, Neglected Elephant This Weekend

For Immediate Release:
February 6, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Auburndale, Fla. – PETA has posted an action alert on its popular website asking visitors to contact International Market World manager Vincent K. To and urge him to cancel elephant rides that are scheduled to be provided on the grounds this weekend. The exhibitor apparently offering the rides, Davenport-based Hugo Liebel of the notorious Liebel Family Circus, has been repeatedly cited and penalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for denying veterinary care to Nosey, the elephant forced to carry riders on her back. He has also been cited and penalized for repeatedly allowing dangerous, unsupervised public contact with Nosey, who attacked and sent a worker to the emergency room in 2004.

In the event that the flea market doesn’t cancel the elephant rides, PETA is planning a volunteer-led protest outside the market.

“No matter how many times he gets caught, Liebel continues to thumb his nose at animal welfare and public safety,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “If International Market World hosts this cruel outfit, it will virtually be underwriting animal abuse and public endangerment.”

Numerous venues, including another Florida flea market, have canceled plans to host Liebel after hearing about his horrific record from PETA. Last year, Liebel was ordered to pay a $7,500 penalty to settle nearly three dozen charges of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. These charges included repeatedly chaining Nosey so tightly that she could barely move and denying her necessary veterinary care. According to USDA records, Liebel has failed to treat Nosey’s chronic skin condition adequately over a 20-year period. Despite a growing collection of federal violations, he continues to deny this elephant the care that she needs—instead transporting her all over the country and forcing her to give rides.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind